Monday, October 10, 2005

More homework for Wednesday

This is from a story in the Nashville Business Journal showing the latest thinking by state officials regarding film incentives.

The law created the committee and future incentives for visual content production in the state, including film, television, cell-phone downloads, computers and commercials.

In addition, incentives may attract more video gaming companies to the state and increase soundtrack production work. The group's findings, recommendations and proposed legislative changes will be presented to the governor and Legislature by Feb. 1.

David Bennett, executive director of Tennessee Film, Entertainment & Music Commission and chairman of the committee, says one incentive might be a tax rebate for the purchase of high-definition equipment.

Among matters discussed at the meeting in Nashville in late September were making the executive director position permanent, crafting educational programs in the state, providing incentives for music and film businesses that already exist in the state, and offering health care insurance and worker's compensation to visual-content employees.

And this is from the Knoxville News-Sentinel via MSNBC regarding the Knoxville hearing a couple of weeks earlier than the Nashville meeting:

While Tennessee has played host to more than 200 film and television projects in the past two decades, it struggles to compete with neighboring states because they have stronger incentive packages.

Bennett said the committee is looking at adopting a multitiered plan that could completely replace the state's current economic incentive package that offers a sales and use tax rebate for out-of-state companies that spend at least $500,000 on a production in Tennessee.

The new plan could offer a credit based on how much a company spends in the state and not based on its gross production budget. If a company uses local workers, it could receive another level of incentives, he said.

The committee also is considering some relief in the form of a sales tax rebate to companies making the switch to high-definition.

There was also this interesting aspect reported in the Knoxville newspaper:

Michael Barnes, film commissioner of the East Tennessee Television and Film Commission, acknowledged that some people from the "corporate level" (Knoxville television executives) have approached the local commission and encouraged it "not to spend a lot of time to bring in movies to the area."

That's because television producers rely heavily on freelancers who are often recruited away when a feature film comes to town leaving them struggling to complete contracts and projects.

Would this be a problem here?

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